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Weekly Graphic Novel Review: Return of the Dapper Men

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week it’s a new edition of Return of the Dapper Men!

Return of the Dapper Men is by Jim McCann and Janet K. Lee and this edition has tons of new extras.

The graphic novel is out now in comic and book stores.

Get your copy now. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Return of the Dapper Men



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Getting Dapper & Talking Dapper Men with Jim McCann and Janet Lee

Welcome to Anorev, a land where time has no meaning. Robots work and children play, but the play is no fun and the work is no use. A curious boy named Ayden and his robot friend Zoe know that something’s missing, but they can’t imagine what it might be… until 314 identical men in green bowler hats fall from the sky. At last, our heroes have a chance to discover what happened to their world, what might start the clocks back up again, and what tomorrow really means.

Blending clockwork whimsy with majestic art-nouveau visuals, Jim McCann and Janet Lee present a hand-crafted fairy tale in Return of the Dapper Men that feels both familiar and entirely new in a new prestige reprinting!

At San Diego Comic-Con we talked to Jim McCann and Janet Lee about their award winning series as well as what’s to come in its sequels!

Preview: Return of the Dapper Men

Return of the Dapper Men

Jim McCann (w) • Janet Lee (a & c)

Welcome to Anorev, a land where time has no meaning. Robots work and children play, but the play is no fun and the work is no use. A curious boy named Ayden and his robot friend Zoe know that something’s missing, but they can’t imagine what it might be… until 314 identical men in green bowler hats fall from the sky. At last, our heroes have a chance to discover what happened to their world, what might start the clocks back up again, and what tomorrow really means. Blending clockwork whimsy with majestic art-nouveau visuals, Jim McCann and Janet Lee present a hand-crafted fairy tale that feels both familiar and entirely new in this prestige reprinting!

HC • FC • $34.99 • 144 pages • 11.25” x 9.75” • ISBN 978-1-60309-413-9

Return of the Dapper Men Comes to Top Shelf

return-of-the-dapper-menReturn of the Dapper Men, the Eisner-award-winning graphic novel by Jim McCann and Janet Lee, will be republished in a deluxe new edition in summer 2017 from its new home at Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing.

The deal, announced yesterday at New York Comic Con, also includes the long-awaited expansion of the Dapper Men story into a trilogy. McCann and Lee reunite for an all-new sequel, Time of the Dapper Men, which will be released in summer 2018.

McCann gave a few hints about what comes next for the world of the Dapper Men: “We will see more whimsy, more choices to be made, more challenges to overcome, lessons to learn, and of course more new characters for Janet to draw in Time of the Dapper Men. I’d tell you about the final book, but let’s just say the ending of Time will have you guessing and gasping for more. And you’ll get it. Finally.”

You can read our review of the original release of Return of the Dapper men.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! I’m catching up on comics and some movies. What’s everyone else up to for the weekend?

Around the Tubes

CBR – McCann & Lee Acquire “Dapper Men” Rights from Archaia – I want more Dapper Men!

Washington Post – THE TRIAL BALLOON: O teachers, after a banner year for graphic novels, don’t ban these books – More comics in schools!

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Avengers #24.NOW

Talking Comics – FF #15

Talking Comics – Origin II #1

Talking Comics – Star Wars Darth Vader #1

CBR – Superman Unchained #5

Interview: Women of BOOM! – Janet K. Lee

Janet Lee_2That’s eight weeks and eight “Women of BOOM!” features, spotlighting the many kick-ass women that work at BOOM!, Archaia and KaBOOM! We’re focusing on everyone, editors, designers, writers, artists, you name it! We’re making sure to include the hard-working folks whose contributions are often overlooked in the process.

BOOM! (and KaBOOM! and Archaia) has given us unprecedented access and the chance to ask questions to their staff, and creative teams, to find out why the publisher is so successful in hiring women and their experiences in the comic industry as women.

Up this week is Janet K. Lee, an artist, cover artist, inker, colorist (and all around cool person) who has worked on Return of the Dapper Men, Wonderland Alphabet and Feeding Ground among others publishing by the company.

Graphic Policy: How did you get involved in the comic book industry? 

Janet K. Lee: I worked for several years as a graphic novel buyer for one of the US’s largest book industry wholesalers and met a number of people in the comics industry, including Jim McCann. Eventually I was promoted away from buying graphic novels, and found I had a creative hole in my life.  I started showing my artwork in galleries around the US. Jim McCann saw some of that art, was inspired to write a book called Return of the Dapper Men based on my art, and asked me to illustrate.  At SDCC ’09, Jim pitched the project to Stephen Christy, and voila! I was in!

Sometimes I feel like the “Lana Turner” of comics, but in truth I spent years networking behind the scenes.  That old adage “It takes ten years to become an overnight success” is just about right.

GP: Did you read comics growing up? Do you read them now?  

JKL: I did and I do!

I got into comics when I was five or so.  My best friend’s neighbor was a novelty salesman (you know: wax lips, pencils, cheap plastic yo-yo’s, and all that) who kept us supplied with bound collections of classic strip comics.  I started out reading Heathcliff, Denis the Menace (which I still blame for my poor performance as a babysitter), Garfield, Peanuts, Family Circus, and Bloomsbury. Eventually, I had a boyfriend who introduced me to The X-Men, and then I discovered anime and manga and eventually the amazing indie scene with books like Blankets and BOP and From Hell.

My preference still leans toward graphic novels and limited series over ongoing—I just prefer a story with a clear arc end and didn’t even go through the normal “soap” period for teenage girls. But there are exceptions: Mind the Gap, Chew, Unwritten, Invincible, Saga, Mouse Guard.  My favorite Christmas gift was a fabulous book called The Nao of Brown—stunning watercolors!

GP: How did you come to work with BOOM!/Archaia?     

JKL: Jim McCann and I considered publishers very carefully before pitching Return of the Dapper Men.  Archaia always produces such beautiful books, and we knew we wanted to do something really different with Dapper, so they just made sense.

GP: How would you describe your job for people?   

JKL: My job is to make the story come to life. If I were working on a novel, I would be writing all the narrative prose. If I were working on a movie, I would be casting, location scout, set design, costuming, and acting coach. If I were a musician, I would be the vocalist singing the writer’s hit tune. My job is to take the actions, dialog, and rough (or sometimes detailed) descriptions of the writer and express them visually.  We are a team of collaborators, and if we do our jobs correctly, together we create something more wonderful than any of us could have made alone.

GP: For people who want to pursue a career in what you do, what advice would you give them? 

JKL: Make the best art that you can possibly make. It is your calling card to the industry, so treat every project as if it were your first and last.

Be polite and kind to absolutely everyone you encounter—this is a small, small industry and every single person in it is important. Always thank people who took time to review your work; even if they hated it, they took the time to read. Network, meet, follow-up.

Know when to take advice and when to ignore it.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY: MAKE COMICS! Just do it! Learn by making mistakes. Learn by trying new things. Some of it will work and some won’t but nothing happens until you make the art.

GP: Did you have a mentor to help you break into the industry? Do you mentor anyone yourself?      

JKL: I’ve had incredible help and encouragement along the way. Jim McCann took a raw gallery artist (who thought she knew everything about making comics, and really knew almost nothing) and taught her the ropes. Jonathan Hickman pulled me aside and helped me understand business pitfalls. My editors at Boom!/Archaia, Marvel, and Image have always challenged me to try something new.

I try to pay it back where I can. I pick projects based on how I feel about the story and the way the script is written (probably a holdover from my buying days), so I find myself often working with new recruits. I love talking with people about their art and about the industry. We all succeed or fail together.

GP: Do you think women have a more difficult time breaking in and making it in the comic industry, if so why? And if yes, how do you think that can be overcome?   

JKL: I think most of the time when we ask this question, we are limiting the industry at large to just Marvel and DC- just superhero comics- and yes, there are issues there with diversity among the mainstream comics creators. But we do ourselves a HUGE disservice by defining comics by a single, limited genre, and if we open the discussion to include ALL of comics, ALL around the world, we get an entirely different picture. Female comic creators are EVERYWHERE, and we’re amazing. This week the NYT Bestseller list for Graphic Novels (top 10) includes Fairest, Saga, Drama, Persepolis (which has been there for YEARS), and Primates.  Women helped to make (or solely made) all of those.

Here’s the thing: for a long time, the direct market for comics was almost entirely focused on superheroes, and superheroes were written for men and boys. They were fantasies about heroism and empowerment and taking control in a bad, bad world—things that people in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, even 70’s and 80’s, didn’t realize women wanted too. So the heroes are men (mostly), and the stories center around men (mostly), and the shops where the stories are sold cater to men (mostly), and the children who grew up drawing superheroes and writing stories about superheroes and dreaming about superheroes were male (mostly). And so now (most) of creators who draw and write in a “house style” are male. And the cannon is (mostly) based on stories for men.

That’s why independent comics are so important.  I may not have grown up drawing Superman and writing stories about Spider-Man, but I did grow up making my own comics, my own way. My art is geared toward a different type of story, and these are stories that need to be told in different ways, and be published in different formats, and maybe be sold into different markets.  Right now, right this minute, we are reinvigorating genres of comics that have languished for years. We are letting the world know that comics are a storytelling medium rather than a single genre.  This is the best time to be a woman in comics.

GP: We notice that when it comes to women in the comic industry, BOOM!/Archaia has a lot of diversity present. Why do you think have they succeeded when so many other publishers struggle with this?

JKL: BOOM!/Archaia have a simple formula, I think: they publish interesting, high quality books, and they make sure people hear about them.  They prove my point: female creators are everywhere making comics, and if you open yourself to diverse types of stories, you will find the statistics are much more equal than a single genre of fiction might lead you to believe. Women make comics.Women read comics.

GP: We’ve heard horror stories concerning women in the industry, have you ever seen or been discriminated/harassed and if so, how did you handle it?

JKL: I don’t have any stories to share. Maybe I’m just lucky, I don’t know.

GP: What advice do you have for women looking to break into the comic book industry? 

JKL: Define your goals. Be true to yourself. Value yourself. Make the art you want to make—the path may take a longer, but will be more rewarding in the end. Read, read, read, read. Learn everything you can about the BUSINESS of making comics. And get out there and meet people!

Related articles

Archaia Announces ‘Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition’


New printing of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel will contain new extras, stories, and never-before-seen artwork

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 14, 2012) – On the heels of the news that the second printing has sold out at the distributor level, Archaia Entertainment announced today its plans to publish the Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition, a brand-new printing of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel that will contain new extras, stories, and never-before-seen artwork.

Return of the Dapper Men is an enchanting, all-ages, original graphic novel created by writer Jim McCann (Mind the Gap) and illustrator Janet K. Lee (The Wonderland Alphabet) about a faraway land where time has stopped and grown-ups don’t exist—just children who don’t age and machines that have come to life. All that is disrupted when 314 dapper-looking gentlemen rain down on the land, intent on starting time up again and causing a ripple effect that affects everyone’s lives. Featuring a Foreword written by TV personality and fashion consultant Tim Gunn, the graphic novel received critical acclaim for its storytelling and distinct art style—each page by Lee is, in itself, a work of art, an elaborate decoupage glued onto a wooden board and coated with protective varnish. The book earned many accolades and was awarded the ultimate honor when it won the 2011 Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Album. Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition will feature a new-look cover with the official Eisner Award seal, and will contain the exclusive reprintings of the two Dapper Men short stories that appeared in Archaia’s Free Comic Book Day publications in 2011 and 2012, as well as never-before-seen artwork from Lee. The book will serve as the perfect run-up to the forthcoming sequel, Time of the Dapper Men (2013).

“For the first time, fans can get ALL of the stories from the Dapper universe so far in one volume—not only can they read the original story, they can also enjoy two tales that were only available previously for Free Comic Book Day,” said Lee. “In addition, we’re excited to include never-before-published Dapper artwork and behind-the-scenes concept art. The Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition is a ‘special’ way to get ready for the next volume, Time of the Dapper Men, which is coming in 2013!”

“When we knew we had to go back to press on Return of the Dapper Men for a third time, we thought, why not make it extra special? New fans will still be able to appreciate the Dapper Men universe, while existing ones can have a new experience with never-before-seen material,” said Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy.

Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition (hardcover, full color, 128 pages, $29.95, 9.5” x 11”, ISBN 978-1-936393-91-6) is scheduled for release in August 2012 and is available for pre-order now through comic book shops (Diamond Order Code JUN12 0796) and wherever books are sold. Limited-edition copies autographed by McCann and Lee will be available at the Archaia booth (#2635) at San Diego Comic-Con, July 12-15, 2012, while supplies last. A leather-bound version of the previous edition is available now for order exclusively through comic book shops and the Archaia webstore.

About Archaia
Archaia is a multi award-winning graphic novel publisher with more than 50 renowned publishing brands, including such domestic and international hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Gunnerkrigg Court, Awakening, The Killer, Days Missing, Tumor, Syndrome, Artesia, The Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels. Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds, building one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. Archaia was named Graphic Novel Publisher of the Year according to Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy and Comic Related, and was honored with nine 2011 Eisner Awards nominations and two Awards for Best Graphic Album and Best Anthology. Archaia has also successfully emerged as a prolific storyteller in all facets of the entertainment industry, extending their popular brands into film, television, gaming, and branded digital media.

Preview of ‘Mouse Guard, Labyrinth, and Other Stories’ FCBD Hardcover

Original Anthology Hardcover

Retail Price:Free
Page Count: 48 pages
Format: Hardcover with no dust jacket (paper over board), 6” x 9”, full color
Rating: All ages
Written by Jeremy Bastian, Nate Cosby, Royden Lepp, Jim McCann, Ted Naifeh and David Petersen
Illustrated by Jeremy Bastian, Chris Eliopoulos, Cory Godbey, Janet Lee, Royden Lepp and David Petersen
Cover by David Petersen

This Free Comic Book Day, Archaia offers readers the chance to experience history in the making with a FREE, gorgeous, 48-page, 6” x 9” full color hardcover anthology featuring all-new material! David Petersen returns with an all-new Mouse Guard tale that’s guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings! Lose yourself once again in Jim Henson’s amazing world of Labyrinth, featuring a fantastical story from Eisner Award nominee Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin), Adrianne Ambrose (Fraggle Rock), and Cory Godbey (Fraggle Rock). Get a new perspective on Jet Jones in Royden Lepp’s critically acclaimed Rust, with a short story seen through the eyes of younger brother Oswald Taylor. Jeremy Bastian’s acclaimed Cursed Pirate Girl hits the high seas in this whimsical, swashbuckling tale of wonderland journeys and unimaginable dangers. Nate Cosby (Pigs) and Chris Eliopoulos (Franklin Richards) present Cow Boy, a comedy/western that tells the tale of a young bounty hunter determined to send his entire outlaw family to jail. And Jim McCann and Janet Lee follow up their Eisner Award-winning Return of the Dapper Men with an all-new short story that leads into the upcoming sequel, Time of the Dapper Men. Witness the origin of a new, major character! And…the return of 41?!

‘Return of the Dapper Men’ Is More Popular Than Ever!

Official Press Release



Los Angeles, CA (February 17, 2011) – A recent spike in sales of Archaia’s critically acclaimed original graphic novel RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN has proven that the book has become increasingly popular since it was first published in November 2010, and with the second printing of the book now healthily in stock, retailers and readers can re-order the book with confidence.

As an example, during the weekend of February 5-6, 2011, sales of RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN on Amazon.com soared to its highest volume yet, ranking at #7 in the Graphic Novels category (#2 in the Fantasy sub-category), and breaking the top 1,000 of books overall, thanks in part to a review of the book on “The Totally Rad Show,” which can be seen at this link: http://revision3.com/trs/dapperman.

“The continued support and love that fans have expressed for this book along with the positive word of mouth it’s still getting months after release continues to astound and humble Janet and I as creators,” said Jim McCann, writer of RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN. “We’ve had everything from starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal to major newspapers and webcasts, and all have been overwhelming in their praise. It’s exciting to see as we begin work on the second volume of the Dapper Men trilogy, TIME OF THE DAPPER MEN.”

A visual tour de force, RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN (hardcover, full color, 128 pages, 9.5” x 11”, $24.95), is the debut graphic novel from the minds of award-winning writer Jim McCann (Hawkeye & Mockingbird) and critically acclaimed gallery artist Janet Lee (Emma). A modern twist on classic fairy tales, this is a story about growing up, childhood fears and examining the origins of a world and the things that inhabit it. The incredible decoupage art style combines steampunk fantasy and science fiction with Art Nouveau for a truly unique and groundbreaking book, all sharply dressed in a pinstripe suit and a dapper bowler hat.

“It’s great to see that even a few months after release, RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN is selling stronger than ever,” said Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy. “We’re happy that Jim and Janet have truly launched a new Archaia franchise with this title, and we can’t wait for readers to see what they’re cooking up for TIME OF THE DAPPER MEN and WORLD OF THE DAPPER MEN, the next two books in the DAPPER trilogy.”

Retailers: RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN is currently available for re-order. Diamond customers, use Order Code: SEP10 0782. For others, use the book’s ISBN: 978-1932386905.

Fans: RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN is available at your local comics shop (LCS) or wherever books are sold. To find an LCS nearest you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com/, or call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK.

About Archaia

Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds. Archaia is: Artesia, Awakening, Beautiful Scars, Berona’s War, The Black Knight, Bleedout, Critical Millennium, Cyclops, The Dark Crystal, Dark Fall, Days Missing, The Devil’s Handshake, An Elegy for Amelia Johnson, The Engineer, Everlast, Feeding Ground, Fraggle Rock, God Machine, The Grave Doug Freshley, Gunnerkrigg Court, Hybrid Bastards!, Inanna’s Tears, Johnny Recon, The Killer, Killing Pickman, Labyrinth, The Lone and Level Sands, Lucid, Miranda Mercury, Moon Lake, Mouse Guard, Mr. Murder Is Dead, Okko, One in a Million, Primordia, Return of the Dapper Men, Robotika, Saga, The Secret History, Some New Kind of Slaughter, Starkweather: Immortal, Syndrome, A Tale of Sand, Titanium Rain, Trial By Fire, and Tumor.

For more information on Archaia or any Archaia titles please visit www.Archaia.com. Archaia can also be found on Facebook (facebook.com/archaiacomics), Twitter (twitter.com/archaiacomics) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ArchaiaEntertainment).

Return of the Dapper Men HC

Welcome To The X-Men Jane Austen, Hope You Survive The Experience!

Official Press Release

Welcome To The X-Men Jane Austen, Hope You Survive The Experience!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at the rising star artist of Jane Austen’s Emma, Janet K. Lee (Return of the Dapper Men), stunning variant cover to Uncanny X-Men #534 depicting the one and only Emma Frost!

“We’re so excited with the plans that we have for Jane Austen’s Emma, that we thought we’d have Janet cover one of our own Emmas!” exclaims SVP of Sales David Gabriel. “This variant is a fun way to draw attention to both books.”

No fan of Janet Lee’s dazzling artwork or the X-Men can miss out on incredible variant! Be sure to be the first one to your local comic shops this March to pick one up!

UNCANNY X-MEN #534 (JAN110779)



Pencils & Cover by GREG LAND

Variant Cover by JANET K LEE

Rated T+ …$3.99

FOC – 2/28/11, On Sale – 3/23/11

EMMA #1 (JAN110685)


Art and Cover by JANET K LEE

Rated A …$3.99

On Sale – 3/2/11


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